Porter Cable 4212 Dovetail Jig

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Forum topic by altraucht posted 01-26-2013 09:47 PM 1765 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1940 days

01-26-2013 09:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question

I am setting up for a Through Dovetail project on the Porter Cable 4212 jig. The instructions appear to say that you use one router depth gauge for the tails and another for the pins. The only measurement in the booklet is 3/8 of an inch and it looks like it is for the pins. Can any one help? Thanks, Al

2 replies so far

View Tallahassee's profile


48 posts in 2361 days

#1 posted 03-20-2013 02:31 PM

Al, I hope you’ve figured this out by now and haven’t given up, as so many people have. Just in case… I just bought this jig (4216, actually) and cut my first dovetails yesterday. They were loose, but otherwise okay. More testing this morning. Before routing, I spent two hours searching the web for answers on setting the depth, but couldn’t find anything. I remembered seeing something about it a month or two ago, but couldn’t find it again. I finally worked it out on my own. Amazing!

Long story short, the depth gauges are set at the factory for 3/4 inch boards. The half-blind gauge is set at 3/8 because that is half the thickness of a 3/4 inch board and the optimal depth. Through dovetails are different, because the cuts go through the boards, which can be different thicknesses. When cutting the tails, set the depth to the thickness of the pin boards. For pins, the depth is the thickness of the tail boards.

Easy way to get it right is to put the pin board on top of the depth gauge and adjust it up until the board is trapped between the template and gauge. Rout your tails. Then, if your boards are different thicknesses, set your depth gauge to the tail board thickness and rout the pins. Add a gap of about 1/32 or so on all through depths if you want the tails/pins to stand a bit proud of the body to make sanding flush that much easier.

Hope this helps.


-- Dana, Tallahassee, FL

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4928 posts in 3954 days

#2 posted 03-20-2013 02:35 PM

PC has an extended information document online.
I downloaded it right after I got the 4210.
It is worth the read and download.


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